Yesterday, before our club’s monthly meeting, we held a grooming seminar and oh my WORD! I am so excited by all of the great tips and tricks that I learned! Thank you so much Roxanne for sharing your time, your knowledge and your inspiration! All I can say is that I am truly inspired to groom ALL of my Chihuahuas now – Especially our long coats.
Information from the seminar as well as other tips I have gathered over time have allowed me to gather quite a few must have tools. Granted, grooming for the show ring is a lot more detailed than for a family pet but if you wish to give it a go yourself, here is a list of must-have supplies:
Wahl Mini Acro Trimmer – I cannot tell you how much you NEED this trimmer. It is considerably more expensive than the average pet trimmer but have you ever tried to use one of those on your dog? They are LOUD! Talk about scaring the crapola out of them. Granted, I need to trim around their faces but even trimming the fur between the pads on their feet can be scary with a loud trimmer. The Wahl Acro trimmer is QUIET! The vibration is half that of an average pet trimmer and it can be used corded or cordless. Worth every single penny.
Nail Clippers – While I suggest investing in a good trimmer, I am telling you I can save you money on nail clippers. Don’t fall for the expensive guillotine style, PediPaws or Quick-Finding trimmers. The guillotine style have the tendency to crack nails, the PediPaws grinders aren’t worth the money and the Quick-Finders DO NOT WORK! Get yourself a cheap pair of standard dog nail clippers. Most have a guard that will prevent you from cutting into the quick (depending on the length of your dog’s nails of course). I suggest you get Small clippers for your Chihuahuas but if your Chi is over 6 pounds, the Large ones might be better.
And while talking about Quicks, as much as we hate possibly hurting our sweet forever friends, a dog will not die from a snipped quick. Imagine ripping your fingernail into the pad. It hurts but you aren’t going to die! Now I realize we humans might put a band-aid on a ripped fingernail but they do have a comparable solution for dogs. Get yourself a jar of Kwik-Stop. The power can be dabbed onto the quick or any minor cut for that matter and that will clot the blood and stop the bleeding.
Dremel Nail Grinder – Now I do NOT recommend using this tool to “trim” your dog’s nails. The heat, smell and sounds generated with any lengthy use could turn anyone’s stomach. The Dremel is wonderful to use to file down just-trimmed nails, removing any rough spots or finishing up and getting the length down just a bit closer to the quick. The grinder will actually allow you to get right up to the quick and it will cauterize as well. Yes, you can smooth rough edges with a basic nail file, but the Dremel makes it quick and painless – With practice of course.
FURminator deShedding Tool – Our smooth coats shed a heck of a lot more than our long coats but they both have undercoats that leave a trail of their steps on our leather couch. These tools can be pricy but I do recommend you get one no matter which coat length your Chihuahua has. I think you might be shocked at how much you are able to pull out in one use.
Waterless Shampoo – We all know the mess a full fledged bath can make. We do our dogs in the kitchen or laundry room sink. The towels, the splashed water – The “I Am Wet Dance” that follows. In-between our regular baths, a waterless shampoo can freshen and clean your Chihuahua in a quick and easy way. It’s great when showing a dog too! I keep it in my tool caddy for quick and painless cleanups. I suggest the foam over the spray. It dries quicker and the fragrance of the John Paul foam is not over-powering.
And while discussing shampoo – Don’t fall victim to the fads and ploys in the shampoo aisle at your local pet supply stores. Oatmeal, conditioning, color enhancing, blah blah blah. Dawn Dishwashing Soap! Yes! You read that right! That is all that you need. It will leave the coat clean, shiny and soft – and guess what? It kills fleas too!
Slicker Brush – You don’t need to spend oodles of money on brushes for your Chihuahua. All you need is a slicker brush. I would suggest one of two options in picking one out. The basic flat style slicker brush will do the job but the steel bristles will eventually wear and get very rough to the touch. You will need to replace your brush when this happens. Or you can use a soft and flexible based slicker brush that will last a bit longer and feel a bit more comfortable to your Chihuahuas.
Flea Comb – Invaluable during flea season! A great way to check for fleas as well as removing any eggs left behind after a bath!